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Quincy hosts High Sierra Music Festival

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A crowd of people gathers to listen to the opening band on the grandstand stage of the 24th annual High Sierra Music Festival at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds last weekend. Thousands of music lovers made their way into Quincy for the festival. Photos by James Wilson
James Wilson
Sports Editor
7/11/2014

The quiet, sleepy town of Quincy woke up last week, and stayed up all hours of the night.

The High Sierra Music Festival returned to the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds for its 16th year in Quincy and its 24th year overall last weekend, and brought an estimated 10,000 festivalgoers along.

The festival brought some big acts this year, including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Beats Antique, Widespread Panic and Lord Huron. Music was playing practically nonstop with artists rotating between three stages.

Campers filled nearly every vacant spot in and around the fairgrounds, creating tent cities overnight. Many camps decorated their canopies and tents to match certain themes. Impromptu parties and jam sessions popped up all over the fairgrounds.

Different ethnic food, normally not attainable in Plumas County, was served up in the food court. People lined up to chow down on gyros, paella, crepes, Thai food and Afro-Caribbean cuisine.

Jenni Charles, of the Dead Winter Carpenters, takes the stage and wows the crowd with her high-energy fiddling. The festival had multiple bands playing between three stages.

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Jenni Charles, of the Dead Winter Carpenters, takes the stage and wows the crowd with her high-energy fiddling. The festival had multiple bands playing between three stages.
For a crowd of 10,000 people, there was surprisingly little trouble. The festival took precautions and hired its own security team and had a medic tent set up in the fairgrounds to take care of minor injuries.

In an interview last Saturday, Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood praised the organization of the festival.

“We haven’t had any major issues,” said Hagwood. “Everything’s gone smoothly so far. I’m really happy with how it’s going.”

Hagwood wasn’t the only local person pleased with the arrival of the festival. Businesses all over town reported booms in business before and during the festivities. Raj Singh, owner of the Relay Station, had nothing but good things to say about his out-of-town customers.

“They’re all wonderful people. Everybody who came in was happy, and that made us relaxed. People call this the hippie fest, but they should call it the happy fest,” Singh joked.

Holly Callahan, owner of Pangaea Café and Pub, said the restaurant had record sales the day before the festival began. According to Callahan, the restaurant dished out 50 more meals than its previous record.

“Every year we prepare by keeping track of what our best sellers are and by hiring more staff,” said Callahan. “We get a big crew that day, and crank out the meals. Each year we get a little better at doing it.”

The amount of money that flows into the county is unknown, but it’s a definite boost to the economy. Lodging accommodations were booked up long before the festival. Several people reported renting their houses out for the long weekend to various visitors to the festival.

The organizers of High Sierra Music Festival are already planning next year’s event. For updates on the 25th annual High Sierra Music Festival, go to highsierramusic.com.


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